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Sustainable Practices in Private Client Services: Balancing Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors

by Ridley & Hall in Holly Thurlbeck, Probate & Estate Administration, Wills posted June 6, 2024.
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Sustainability refers to the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time. To put this in the context of private client this means being able to provide a service to clients in relation to Wills, LPAs, estate planning and probate in a way that we can maintain for future generations. There has been a growing interest among individuals in aligning their end-of-life decisions with environmental and social values.

Environmental Considerations

One way to ensure sustainability is to look at the environmental considerations the department may have and minimise these are far as possible. Opting for digitalisation of documents can help to reduce paper usage either by reducing the volume of paper used for contact with the client into email correspondence to even having Wills and other documentation signed digitally.

Another consideration to give clients the option to choose eco-friendly funeral arrangements lessening the harm to the environment.  These types of funerals include a natural or green burial in a memorial ground or cemetery, woodland or private land or at home.  Green burials or natural burials as they are also known involve the burial of someone either in a coffin or simple shroud without the use of chemicals such as those used in embalmment together with a small service.

There is also the opportunity to include provisions in your Wills that support environmental conservation efforts such as legacies to environmental organisations or directives for eco-friendly disposal of assets.

Governance and Transparency

It is very important when making a Will to ensure that the executors you have chosen to administer your estate are trustworthy but are also committed to upholding your values and ensuring the responsible administration of your estate. There is an option to appoint an independent person or a professional executor giving you peace of mind that your wishes will be followed.

Social and Community Impact

A great way to make an impact on the community is to leave a sum of money to a charity.  This can be done either by leaving a specific amount or by leaving a share in your residuary estate after your funeral and other debts have been paid out first. Leaving just a small amount can have a massive impact on the community after death and allows you to support the community or causes close to you even after you have gone.

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Holly Thurlbeck – Paralegal



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